20:33 GMT23 January 2021
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    The Soviet-built carrier left Hong Kong early Wednesday morning before crossing over into the western side of the Taiwan Strait.

    Taiwanese defense officials said the ship didn’t present a concern, as there was no suspicious activity, but the situation is being closely watched, according to Channel News Asia.

    Beijing considers Taiwan a Special Administrative Region of China, while the majority of the international community recognizes the island as a sovereign nation.

    The Liaoning departed for Hong Kong on July 27 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of China’s reclamation of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom. Upon learning of the carrier’s intended route, Ministry of National Defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Chen Chung-chi informed Taiwan’s Taipei Times that the MoND would track the ship and stand ready to thwart any threat posed by the “menace.”

    Liaoning is one of China’s two carriers. The Type 001A set sail in April for the first time, marking a significant achievement on Beijing’s behalf: it was the first constructed by Chinese citizens in China.

    When it was finally ready to sail, however, the South China Morning Post reported: “Although the launch has been heralded by some as a sign that China is mastering naval technology, other military observers have noted China still only has about four percent of the United States’ naval capability.”


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